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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • See Taiwan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The name given to Taiwan island (Ilha Formosa, "Beautiful Isle") by passing Portuguese mariners in 1544.
  • proper n. The name of a province of Argentina.
  • proper n. A city of Argentina, capital of Formosa Province.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • proper n. An island off the coast of China, also called Taiwan. It was occupied by Japan from 1895 to 1945, when it was returned to Chinese sovereignty. After the Communist revolution which took over the Chinese mainland in 1949, the Nationalist Chinese under Chang Kai-Shek retreated to the island of Formosa and established that island as the base of their government, being recognized for several years as the de jure possessor of the China seat in the United Nations. The capital is Taipei. As of 1998, both the Taiwan government and the mainland China government recognized Taiwan as properly a part of China, but the island is currently ruled as a de facto independent nation, though it does not possess a seat in the United Nations. The question of when and under what circumstances the island will be reunited with the mainland government is still unresolved.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an island in southeastern Asia 100 miles off the coast of mainland China in the South China Sea


From Portuguese formosa ("beautiful"), from Latin formosus ("beautifully formed"), from forma ("form, shape") + the adjective suffix -osus ("full of"). (Wiktionary)


  • It seems that the attack on the missionaries and native Christians in Formosa originated from similar stories.

    Letter from Young John AllenSeptember 15, 1868

  • He enclosed a copy of the edict and requested that the governor propagate it in Formosa and enforce it by confiscating the junks and property of any who disobeyed.

    How Taiwan Became Chinese

  • Note 86: Inez de Beauclair, "Dutch Beads in Formosa?"

    How Taiwan Became Chinese

  • It appeared that nearly all the Chinese colonists in Formosa believed the rumors about Chenggong's plans.

    How Taiwan Became Chinese

  • Tingbin, they said, had helped formulate the plans and had told Chenggong that Chinese residents in Formosa, especially those who lived in Tingbin's former lands and buildings, would greet Chenggong with open arms. 49

    How Taiwan Became Chinese

  • Note 70: Cited in C.R. Boxer, "The Siege of Fort Zeelandia and the Capture of Formosa from the Dutch, 1661 – 1662," Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society London, 27 (1927): 16 – 47, esp.

    How Taiwan Became Chinese

  • Note 56: A classic account of the events that follow van der Laan's dispatch is found in one of C.R. Boxer's earliest articles: "The Siege of Fort Zeelandia and the Capture of Formosa from the Dutch, 1661 – 1662," Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society London, 27 (1927): 16 – 47. back

    How Taiwan Became Chinese

  • Note 26: Governor Pedro Palomino to Governor-General Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, Jilong, Formosa, letter, 8 October 1638, AGI Escribanía 409B, 90 – 93, esp. 91 and 93 (Borao Mateo, Spaniards in Formosa, 288 – 92). back

    How Taiwan Became Chinese

  • Note 27: Hernando de Herrera to Governor-General Corcuera, Formosa, letter, 30 September 1638, AGI Escribanía 409B, 96 – 97, quote at 96 (Borao Mateo, Spaniards in Formosa, 285 – 87). back

    How Taiwan Became Chinese

  • Richardson, W.J. "Early Missionary Activity in Formosa, 1624 – 1662."

    How Taiwan Became Chinese


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